Hunter Home

Location: Knight Street

Edward (1793-1883) and Ann (1808-1855) Hunter were prosperous Quaker farmers in Pennsylvania when they joined the Church in 1839. Their baptisms opened the door for 200 more in the area. The Hunter’s soon sold their property and used the proceeds to help other Latter-day Saints relocate to Nauvoo. As a wealthy businessman, he donated generously to the temple fund. Ann and Edward were known as generous members of the community and close friends of the prophet, Joseph. The Hunter’s emigrated to Utah in 1847, and Edward became the Church’s Presiding Bishop from 1851-1883.

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Hunter Home
Edward had this home built in 1842. A summer kitchen was probably built in 1843 or 1844 as a second kitchen, since the home had a basement kitchen already. After the family went to Utah in 1847, the home passed through various hands until it was torn down in the 1980s. Excavation later revealed the footprint on which the structure was rebuilt in 2020, with input on interior layouts from local residents who had grown up in the home.
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Neighborhood
In the 1800s, the home would have stood among other homes along Knight Street, but the current setting is near a footpath that leads between the William Weeks home and the Hunter home. The Jones Stonecutter pavilion is along the same path.
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Parlor
The piano featured here (blue fabric) is a local antique from the 1840s, but it did not belong to the Hunter’s. The family’s large parlor often welcomed guests and would have been home to many social gatherings.
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Wallpaper Detail
This hand-painted replica wallpaper symbolized hospitality and prosperity in 19th century America. While we don’t know how the Hunter’s decorated their home, they would have been familiar with this design and may have ordered something just as elaborate from suppliers in the East.
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Period Furniture
The Hunter’s would have possessed nice furniture like this replica couch, but furnishings were mostly left behind when the Saints left Nauvoo in 1846. Edward returned to lead a wagon train in 1850. It was the first company to be funded by the Perpetual Emigration Fund, which he had helped establish.
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Office
This room could have functioned as Edward’s business office. The Hunter’s were close friends of Joseph and Emma Smith. It was in the Hunter home that Joseph dictated instructions related to baptisms for the dead. The instructions were later canonized. Replica letters, in William Clayton’s handwriting, are on the desk.
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Stairs
When marshals from Missouri tried to arrest Joseph on false charges in 1842, he hid for a time in this home, probably upstairs, until the threat subsided. Edward was one of Joseph’s bodyguards at the time.
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Upstairs Bedroom
The Hunter’s had three children, but only one lived to adulthood. When their young son, George Washington Hunter, died in 1840, a visiting Hyrum Smith comforted the Hunter’s with greater knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. Edward would later see his son in a vision and was at peace.
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Summer Kitchen/Tithing Office
The summer kitchen has been furnished to demonstrate one of the duties of a Bishop, which is to receive tithing from members (cash or in-kind) and help distribute material goods to members in need. Edward may have received goods like this at home, but he would have then deposited them in the local tithing office. Edward also received and recorded goods donated specifically to furnish the temple, and he kept a record of donated labor. The display here helps tell the story, even if the summer kitchen would not have looked like this in the 1840s.
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Tithes and Offerings
Latter-day Saints were tithed in three ways in Nauvoo. They gave one-tenth of their assets, one-tenth of the annual increase, and one-day-in-ten to labor on the temple. Many newer immigrants had little to give in cash but would donate blankets, clothing, furniture, or other wares to represent their tithe.
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